Mower County, Minnesota

Group File 12


William A. Nolan

b: 1862

William A. Nolan, of Grand Meadow village, has an enviable record of active work in public and business affairs. He was elected to the legislature in 1900 and served ten years, his successor taking office in 1911. He has been president of the school board of the village of Grand Meadow since its organization as a separate district, and has been at the head of the Grand Meadow Fire Department for over twenty years. He was a member of the village council for three years. He is a harness and leather dealer, an automobile agent, and is interested in the banking and telephone business. Withal, the social side of his nature has not been neglected and he is a popular member of the A. F. & A. M., the M. W. A., and the B. P. O. E. He attends the Congregational church, of which he is a trustee. It may be truly said that Mr. Nolan is a man of affairs, pushing, active, progressive and public spirited, interested in everything that is for the betterment and welfare of his village, his town, his county, his state and his nation.

William A. Nolan was born in Yankton, S. D., October 4, 1862, son of Charles E. and Sarah A. (Gordy) Nolan, pioneers. He was educated in the schools of High Forest, Minn., and at the age of nineteen learned the harness-making trade from John Connor, at Grand Meadow. Eventually he purchased the business, and the establishment is now conducted on a large scale.

Mr. Nolan married Laura Greening, daughter of John Greening, and their union has been blessed with four children: Mabel I., Bernice, Merrill C. and William R.

The parents of William A. Nolan, Charles E. and Sarah A. Nolan, were natives of New York State, where a brother of Charles E. was for many years clerk of the supreme court.

Charles E. was an early pioneer, came to High Forest, Olmsted County, in 1855, and was the first merchant to open a store in that town. He died in 1865.




John E. Norris

b: 1872

John E. Norris, lumber dealer of Lyle, was born in Lyle township, in March, 1872, and thus has the honor of being a native son of this county.

His parents were John and Marie E. (Spears) Norris, of Scotch-Irish descent.

John E. received his education in the schools of Lyle township and also at Old Otranto, in Iowa. He farmed with his parents for a time, and then with them went to North Dakota, where he and his father purchased a whole section of land. In 1905 they sold out, and John E., on his return to Lyle, purchased the lumber yards of L. W. Sherman. He has a large trade and is the only lumber dealer in the village. Mr. Norris is an independent voter, and while in North Dakota was chairman of the township board. He is now a member of the village council of Lyle, belongs to the A. F. & A. M. and the K. of P. and attends the Presbyterian church.

He was married October 19, 1908, to Mary E. Roulston, of Oakland village, Iowa.

John Norris was born in the north of Ireland of Scotch parentage, and came to America at the age of nine years. He located in Wisconsin, married Marie E. Spears, and there remained until 1868, when he came to Mower county and purchased 160 acres, also acquiring a similar tract in Freeborn county. From 1883 to 1890 he conducted the flouring mill at Old Otranto, Iowa, and then sold and went to North Dakota. About six years later he came to Lyle once more, his wife passing away in 1905.

Abe Olson, of Lansing township, one of the progressive farmers of Mower county, was born in Newry, Freeborn county, Minnesota, April 9, 1859, son of Helge and Kari Olson, the former of whom, coming to America in 1855, was one of the first settlers in Freeborn county. Abe Olson was one of ten brothers and three sisters. He passed his early life on the farm, and came to Mower county about twenty years ago (1890). He now owns 180 acres of land, and has made his place one of the model farms of the township, his fine house, commodious and modern barns, and well-tilled acres being hard to excel. Besides carrying on general agricultural pursuits, Mr. Olson is a breeder of Belgian horses and owns some of the most valuable pieces of horse flesh in the state, having taken many prizes. He also makes a specialty of breeding fine Jersey hogs. The subject of this sketch was married many years ago to Carrie Nelson, a daughter of Iver and Chersty Nelson.




Henry O'Marrow

Henry O'Marrow, Marshal of Grand Meadow village, was born in Ireland, son of Thomas and Mary (Murphy) O'Marrow, who brought their family to America in 1861, settling in Utica, N. Y., where they remained five years. Then they located in Beaver Dam, Wis., and there Thomas O'Marrow worked seventeen years for Washington Brower, continuing to live in Beaver Dam, until his death in 1904.

Henry, the subject of this sketch, was seventeen years of age when he started out in life for himself, and came to Rochester, Minn., remaining six years, after which he came to Grand Meadow. He was assistant foreman of the C., M. & St. P. for six years, then engaged in the grain business, afterward pursued other employment, and later assumed his present duties as custodian of the peace. He also has charge of the village pumping station.

He married Kate McCloskey, and to this union five children were born: Thomas, Frank, Mary, Margaret and Jennie. Mary married Joseph Rathey and they have one son, named Henry for his grandfather.




John Nelson

b: 1842

John Nelson of Grand Meadow village was born in Denmark, November 22, 1842, son of Peter and Annie M. (Hanson) Nelson. John remained home as a youth, and at the age of fifteen started to learn the blacksmith trade, serving as an apprentice four years.

In 1866 he came with his parents to America, and upon their arrival went with them directly to Rochester, Minn., where he followed his trade four years.

In 1870 he came to the village of Grand Meadow and erected a blacksmith shop. At the time of his arrival here there where but two stores, those of D. B. Coleman, and the population consisted of about fifty people, mostly railroad men, just completing what was then the Southern Minnesota. In 1872 Mr. Peterson opened a livery stable in connection with his shop. Three years later he built a large livery barn and did a flourishing business.

Mr. Peterson married A. Christenson, a native of Denmark, and they have four children: Elizabeth, wife of John Sanders, of North Dakota; Clara, Alma and Albert T. Mr. Peterson is a substantial and sturdy citizen, highly respected in the vicinity where for so many years he has made his home. A Mel Vining and a Mr. Hicks started a store a few weeks after Mr. Coleman. M. H. Fjelstad and J. Skyberg came later on.




John Olsen

b: 1870

John Olsen, foreman for the Lyle Corrugated Culvert Company, of Lyle, was born in Norway, January 30, 1870, son of John and Marie Olsen, who came to America in 1873, and located in Chicago for four years. Then they came to Mower county and here the father engaged as a carpenter and contractor, a business he followed until his death, in 1876, his wife being still alive and making her home with her son.

At the age of eleven years John Olson, the subject of this sketch, left home, and worked on a farm. This he continued until he was sixteen, and then worked four years on the railroad. In 1898 he engaged in the restaurant business and continued some five years. He is now giving excellent service as foreman of the Lyle plant of the Lyle Corrugated Culvert Company. He has been a member of the village council for three years.

He is single, a Republican, a member of the Knights of Pythias, and an attendant of the Lutheran church.




John D. Olson

b: 1836

John D. Olson, now deceased, one of the sturdy old pioneers of Mower county, was born in Norway, in December, 1836. In 1845 he came to America, and located in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1855. He then came to Mower county, making the trip overland by ox team, his brothers, Ragnald and Stephen, and his sister, Lena, and parents accompanying him. He settled in section 12, Adams township, gradually broke and developed the land and carried on general farming, making a specialty of grain raising and stock breeding. Mr. Olson was well liked.

He died October 25, 1895, and his death was the cause of much sincere mourning.

The subject of this sketch was married May 28, 1866, to Ida Gurina Johnson, daughter of J. C. Johnson, and this union has been blessed with nine children: Junetta, Steffina, Bertha, Emma-these four are living. Five died in youth. Junetta is the wife of Ben S. Knutson; Bertha is the wife of Peter Erickson; Emma is the wife of Knute Gordon; Steffina is the wife of Ed. Lunde.

Mrs. Olson has lived in the village of Adams eight years. Her memory of the events transpiring in the early days is very clear, and she is an earnest advocate of the preservation of the early records.




Anfend Olson

b: 1866

Anfend Olson, village marshal of Adams, and superintendent of the municipal gas and water plants, was born in Norway, March 23, 1866, son of Ole Johnson and Martha Thompson, his wife, natives of Norway, where the father died.

Anfend received his education in the public schools of Norway, and came to America in 1882, locating in De Forest, Wisconsin, where he worked out as farmer and stone mason, until 1893, when he came to Minnesota and purchased a farm of 120 acres, on section 6, Lodi township, which he improved and developed, erecting buildings and cultivating the land, still combining masonry and general farming until 1900, when he sold his farm, and for nine years devoted his entire time to the trade of stone mason.

In July, 1910, he was elected marshal of Adams village, and superintendent of the gas and water plants. He is a Republican in politics, attends the Lutheran church and belongs to the Commercial Club. In addition to his present offices, he has served as a member of the village council. Mr. Olson owns a pleasant residence in the village of Adams, three lots in Minneapolis, and 100 acres of timber land in Aitkin county, this state.

He was married October 26, 1896, to Carrie Munson, who died in 1897. Mr. Olson brought his mother to this country in 1885, and she still presides over his household.




Charles K. Olson

b: 1852

Charles K. Olson, a substantial citizen of Nevada township, was born in Norway, June 7, 1852, son of Charles Olson and Mary 0. Olson, both natives of Norway and both now deceased. Charles K. came to Quebec in 1870 on an old sailing vessel, the "Skein." The wind failed them and before the landing was made in Quebec, after eleven weeks on the water, the boat exhausted its store of food and drink.

From Quebec Charles K. came to Adams village and worked out for a year, afterward going to Iowa for a year. Then he returned, attended school winters and for a period of ten years spent his time laboring by the month on farms, in the woods and in various other capacities. By frugality he saved enough money to buy eighty acres in section 10, Nevada township, and with this start he prospered until he now owns 320 acres of good land. He raises corn, potatoes and timothy and makes a specialty of cattle, mostly Herefords, for beef and dairy purposes. Mr. Olson is a, Republican in politics and has been justice of the peace four years, director of the school board of his district five years, and treasurer of the same district for eight years. He has been a stockholder in the Nevada Co-Operative Creamery for seventeen years and disposes of his cream to that institution.

The subject of this sketch was married, January 1, 1877, to Sara Ostemuson, a native of Norway, who came to the United States in 1870.

Six children have been born to them: Carl is at home; Andrena married Lars A. Larson and lives in Adams township; Mollie is now Mrs. Hans O. Sampson, of Nevada township; Annie, Christ and Julia are at home.




Thomas Olson

Thomas Olson was born in Norway and there married Ingar Olson. They came to America in 1866, purchased eighty acres in Fillmore county, this state, and there farmed until 1875. In that year they sold their place and came to Mower county, where Thomas with his son, Ole T., purchased 240 acres in section 8, Frankford township, and fifty acres in section 7.

On the fifty acres he erected his home, and together with his son carried on general farming until 1891. Then he sold fifty acres to the Norwegian Lutheran congregation, and gave his daughter, Mrs. Olaus Finhart, eighty acres in section 8, taking a life lease from her, and living with her until his death, March 24, 1901.




John Opsall

b: 1855

John Opsall, one of the prominent Norwegian-Americans of the county, came to Minnesota as a boy of sixteen, and has since taken an active interest in its growth and development.

He was born in Norway in 1855, his father being Hans Opsall and his mother Julia Olson. He came to America with his mother in. 1869, and joined the father who a year previous had located in Grant county, Wisconsin. In 1871 they came to Minnesota and located in Freeborn county.

John, the subject of this sketch, was reared on the farm, and in 1878 started out in life for himself by purchasing his present farm of 160 acres in Lansing township, this county. In addition to this he owns five acres across the line in Freeborn county. His farming operations, which are conducted along the latest approved lines, have been most successful, and he is regarded as one of the well-to-do men of the county. He belongs to Mason Lodge and to the A. O. U. W.

Mr. Opsall was united in marriage many years ago to Mary Anderson, a native of Norway.

This union has been blessed with two children. They are Harry M., at home, and Lena M. Lena M. is now the wife of L. C. Berry and lives in Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Berry have three children: Marcus, Lewis J. and Otto.




Knut K. Ostegaard

b: 1828

Knut K. Ostegaard has lived in Mower county since 1864, and in the village of Grand Meadow since 1902. He was born in Norway, December 28, 1828; received his education in the schools of Norway, and there grew to manhood, leaving his. native land for America at the age of thirty-three, in 1861. He first located in Wisconsin for a time, and then, in 1864, came to Mower county, where he purchased eighty acres in Grand Meadow township and twenty acres of timber land in Frankford township.

Five years later he purchased eighty acres adjoining his original purchase, thus making a farm of 160 acres. This land he broke and improved, erected the necessary buildings and carried on general farming. On this place he toiled and prospered until 1902, when he sold the farm and purchased a lot in Grand Meadow village, on which he erected a pleasant residence, in which he and his good wife now live, enjoying the fruits of their early toil and hardships.

Mr. Ostegaard was married August 23, 1867, to Olena Johnson, a native of Norway, who was born September 10, 1835, and came to America in 1866. They are the parents of three children: John lives in Grand Meadow; Anna lives in Frankford township and is now Mrs. Iver Peterson; Ole is a carpenter and contractor in Minneapolis.




Albert Paape

b: 1860

Albert Paape, a modern farmer of Waltham township, was born near Berlin, Germany, August 30, 1860, son of August and Mary (Tews) Paape.

He came to America with his parents and lived with them in Wisconsin, his father, August, dying there. Albert started in life for himself by working out by the day near Winona, this state, for three years. Then he spent two years in Waltham. Subsequently he went to Nebraska, but in 1898 again came to Waltham township and purchased 160 acres in section 8, where he still resides. He erected the house where he now lives and has a large and well-tilled farm, well equipped with tools and machinery and having a suitable number of buildings for the housing of stock and crops.

Mr. Paape married Bertha Wiesch, and they have twelve children.




Mason J. Parmenter

b: 1852

Mason J. Parmenter was born in New York state, April 22, 1852, son of Mason and Eliza Parmenter, who came to Mower county in 1]859, preempted land and spent the remainder of their lives, the former dying in 1877 and the latter in 1881.

M. J. came to Minnesota with his parents, and at the death of his father took the home place in partnership with his brother, John E. He now owns 280 acres and carries on general farming.

He was married in March, 1891.




Martin Pederson

b: 1872

Martin Pederson, a Marshall township dairyman and farmer, was born in Iowa in 1872, son of Peter and Inga Pederson, natives of Norway, who came to America in the seventies and purchased eighty acres in Fayette county, Iowa.

In 1891 Martin came to Mower county and purchased eighty acres of land in section 23, Marshall township, later adding another eighty in the same section, in 1903. He has a fine farm, and keeps a herd of Shorthorn cattle. His farm is well equipped with modern machinery, and his operations have been most successful.

Mr. Pederson is a Republican in politics and attends the Lutheran church. He married Julia Johnson, in Iowa, December 22, 1895.




John Peirson

John Peirson was a lumberman in the Canadian woods. In 1837 he removed his family to Ohio, lived there three years, then in 1840 went to Rockford, Ill., and in 1844 took up his residence in Silver Creek, two years later going to Winslow in the same state. In 1848 John Peirson started overland for California, and acquired considerable land along the Pacific coast. Later he went to the Sandwich Islands, where he died in 1852.

His wife lived in Illinois until his death, after which she returned to her old home in Vermont, where she died.

It is interesting to note that practically the first claim recorded for what is now Mower county was that of J. S. Peirson, in September, 1854. J. S. was a son of John and a brother of Frederich M.




Helge A. Peterson

b: 1852

Helge A. Peterson is one of the progressive farmers of the county. He has a productive farm of 480 acres in Udolpho township, beautifully laid out and equipped with all the most modern machinery. His house, erected in 1887, is a model of beauty and comfort, and the stock is well housed in commodious quarters, while there are in addition numerous buildings for the shelter of crops and machinery.

Mr. Peterson also owns land in other parts of Minnesota. Although these extensive holdings entail much labor and care on his part, he has nevertheless found time to take an active part in public affairs, and he has been chairman of the board of supervisors of the township for twenty years, as well as treasurer of his school district for many terms, and treasurer of the Lutheran church congregation for eighteen years.

He was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, December 28, 1852, son of Asleck Peterson, who came from the old country to America in 1845 and settled in Spring Valley, Rock county, where he lived until his death.

In 1875 Helge A. Peterson married Betsy T. Knudson Berg, who died July 9, 1876, leaving one daughter, Betsy, who is wife of Ole H. Knutson, and lives in Wisconsin. In 1882 Helge A. left Wisconsin and came to Udolpho township, where he purchased his present farm. His wife, whose maiden name was Helena O. Lewis, was a daughter of Ole Lewis, who served in the Civil war, and died at Chattanooga, Tenn., of sickness contracted in the army. This union has been blessed with nine children: Samuel Arthur, born June 5, 1885; Ormanzo Benhart, born October 28, 1887; Nellie Johanna, born November 26, 1889, and died May 8, 1890; Nellie Charlotte, born February 26, 1891; Charles Palmer, born January 20, 1893; Blanche Lillian, born August 21, 1895; Ralph Alexander, born February 23, 1897, died September 5, 1898; Signe Evangeline, born August 12, 1900, and Agnes Helena, born October 9, 1904. Samuel Arthur was married August 12, 1905, to Serena Anderson, and this union has been blessed with four children: Tonetta Henrietta,born October 7, 1905; Harriet Otena, born October 27, 1907; Selina Ordell, born June 11, 1909, and Erwin Chester, born November 10, 1910.




Peter G. Peterson

Peter G. Peterson, successful farmer of Lansing township, and for nine years supervisor, a position he has filled with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens, was born in Clayton county, Iowa, son of Gulleck Peterson, also a farmer, who came to America from Norway in 1862.

Gulleck lived in Clayton and Dodge counties, Minnesota, and Worth county, Iowa, and died in the latter county in 1877.

His wife, with her three children, consisting of Peter, the subject of this sketch, and two girls, came to Lansing and located on section 18, in 1877, and Peter G. has since been a resident of this township. Six years ago he moved to section 21, where he still resides. The home farm consists of 160 acres of good land, which is doing well under careful attention.

The house is comfortable, the buildings well kept, and the stock and crops well looked after. Modern tools and machinery add to the success that Mr. Peterson has achieved. In addition to his farm in section 18, he owns ten acres in section 17, in the same township, and 160 acres of good land in Richland county, North Dakota.

He is a believer in education, and in addition to giving the township good service on the town board, has served faithfully for sixteen years as a member of the school board of his district.

The subject of this sketch was married in 1896 to Helgine Anderson, born in Norway in 1866, daughter of Andrew Olson. She came to America with her parents in 1871 and they have since lived in Lansing. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have had five children: George E., born December 15, 1896; Evin J., born August 4, 1898; Morris N., April 28, 1900; Helen Pauline, May 20, 1902; Esther Engeborg, November 5, 1904.




Peter Peterson

b: 1841

Peter Peterson, an extensive land owner of Marshall township, was born in 1841 in Sweden, his father bearing the same name as his own. The subject of this sketch was reared in the old country, and in 1870 came to the United States, locating in Kansas City, Mo., where he was employed at railroad work three years. Then he worked in the lumber business in Marshfield, Wis., for something over three years.

In 1876 he came to Mower county and purchased eighty acres in Marshall township, on which with energy and pluck he started farming. That his efforts have been crowned with success is shown by the fact that he now owns 400 acres of as good land as is found in the county. He has a fine farm, well furnished house, commodious, well equipped barns, modern machinery and other aids to intelligent farming.

Peter Peterson married Louise Carlson, and they have six children: John, at home; Alma, now Mrs. Adolf Lyndell, of Windom; Albert; Louis; Alfred and Hilda, the latter four being also at home.




Peter E. Peterson

b: 1846

Peter E. Peterson, now deceased, was for many years an honored farmer of Frankford township and later of Grand Meadow village. He was on the town board of Frankford for some time, served as clerk of his school district for several terms, and after coming to Grand Meadow served as mayor two years. Aside from 200 acres in Mower county, he owned 160 acres in Aitkin county, this state, and was also a shareholder in the First National Bank of Grand Meadow.

Peter E. Peterson was born in Norway, April 26, 1846, son of Iver and Helen Gertrude Peterson, also natives of Norway. The family came to America in 1850 and located in Green county, Wisconsin, where both parents died. Peter started in life for himself by purchasing eighty acres in Racine township, Mower county, where he went in 1869. Later he sold this tract, and removed to Frankford township, where he bought eighty acres in section 31. Later he added an eighty acres adjoining in section 32, and still later forty acres adjoining, but over the line in Bennington township. This tract of 200 acres he broke and developed, erected a fine home and suitable buildings, and carried on general farming until 1896. Then he rented his farm, and removed to Grand Meadow village, where he purchased a lot and built a modern home, in which he lived the remainder of his days.

His decease, October 5, 1908, was sincerely mourned by his many friends.

The subject of this sketch was married October 13, 1870, to Caroline Haugen, born in Wisconsin, November 13, 1854, daughter of Elling and Mary Haugen, natives of Norway. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have four children: Edward, of Grand Meadow; Helen G., of Clayton township, wife of Edwin Julson; Theodore, now living in Washington state, and Marie, who lives at home.

There is also an adopted son, George. The family worships at the United Norwegian Lutheran church.




George Pick

b: 1839

George Pick, a farmer living in Brownsdale village, was born in Leicestershire, England, March 19, 1839, son of William and Ann (Johnson) Pick, and married Emma Beer, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Hill) Beer, of London, England. George

Pick and his wife came to America in 1864, and located on a farm in Fillmore county.

In 1868 they came to Waltham township and purchased a farm in section 36. In 1908 Mr. Pick moved to the village of Brownsdale, and has since made his home here, although he still operates his farm, being assisted in his work by his son, Fay. Mr. Pick takes an interest in public affairs, and in addition to serving on the town board at various times was clerk of the school board of his district for twenty years.

In the Pick family there were five children: Jennie, William, Lydia, Arthur and Fay. Jennie married Thomas Johnson, of Waltham, Minn., and they have five children: Mabel, Vaughan, Myrtle, Ray and Rose. William O. lives in Clay county, Minnesota.

He married Jennie Bull, and they have three children: Glinee, Nellie and Olive. Lydia married Jasper Hill and lives in Bruno, Pine county, Minnesota. Arthur lives in Antelope county, Nebraska. Fay married Mabel Baily, lives in Waltham, and assists on the home farm.




Aaron Plum

Aaron Plum was a native of Ohio and went to Iowa in the early days.

He was a soldier in the Civil war, serving throughout that conflict in the 22nd Iowa Vol. Inf.

After the war he returned home and continued farming until his death, in August, 1909. His wife died in March, 1907.




Charles Dexter Pollard

Charles Dexter Pollard came to LeRoy township just after the Civil war, and here spent the remainder of his life, achieving success and respect by his industry and virtues. He was born in "Wheately, Franklin county, Massachusetts, came to Stoughton, Wisconsin, at an early date, and then to Mower county.

Here he married Helen Leach, who was born in Kirby, Caledonia county, Vermont, came to Stoughton, Wis., in early life, and then to Mower county.

In 1866, Charles D. Pollard purchased 200 acres of land in section 10, LeRoy township, the purchase being made from Mr. Burns at ten dollars an acre. Here C. D. erected the necessary buildings and carried on farming extensively until his death, February 28, 1883.

His wife died February 7, 1908. They were the parents of four children: Edward C., Frank M., Grace May, and Mabel Clare.




Edward C. Pollard

b: 1868

Edward C. Pollard was born in a pioneer log cabin on the farm where he still resides, September 3, 1868, son of Charles Dexter and Helen Elvira (Leach) Pollard.

He received his education in the district schools of LeRoy township, and engaged in farming on the old place with his mother and brother.

At the age of twenty years he took entire charge of the farm. Later it was divided and Edward C. received 286 acres. On this large farm he conducts general agricultural operations. In 1894 he engaged in raising Black Poll Angus cattle for beef, and now has a herd of sixty head, having previously had as high as a hundred head.

Mr. Pollard is an independent voter.




Andrew Jackson Porter

b: 1829

Item 1 of 2 items

Andrew J. Porter, pioneer blacksmith and first constable of LeRoy, was born in Madison, Lake county, Ohio, January 28, 1829. At the age of eight years he lost his father, and when he was twelve the family emigrated to Wisconsin, locating in Milwaukee county, where they were early settlers.

An elder brother bought land and Andrew J. made his home with him until he was seventeen years of age. Then he went to Milwaukee, and learned the blacksmith trade, serving three years. Afterward he went to northern Michigan, and engaged in horseshoeing until 1856, when he started for Minnesota, making the trip over the lakes to Wauwatosa, Wis., and from there to Mower county with ox teams. He was joined by his father-in-law, E. Whitcomb, and upon arriving here claimed the southwest quarter of section 30, in the town of LeRoy. There he remained two years and then purchased the southwest quarter of section 31, where he built a large house and remained until 1864, at which time he moved to what is now known as the old town of LeRoy. There he engaged in blacksmithing with E. E. McKee.

When the new town was started he bought land in the present village of LeRoy and erected a house. In company with John Curry he built the first blacksmith shop in the new village. He was first constable in the village, and was repeatedly elected to offices of trust and honor.

Andrew J. Porter married Elizabeth Whitcomb, October 28, 1849, and they were the parents of six children: Anson C., Vica A., Julia I., Willard K., Frank W. and Lizzie M., Ida and Frank dying in infancy.



Item 2 of 2 items

Andrew Jackson Porter

b: Jan. 8, 1829
d: Mar. 13, 1890

Andrew J. Porter, the pioneer blacksmith of LeRoy, is a native of Ohio, was born in the town of Madison, Lake county, January 8, 1829. At the age of eight years, his father died. The family continued to reside in Ohio until he was twelve years old, when they emigrated to Wisconsin, and located in Milwaukee county, where they were early settlers. An older brother [John] bought land and the subject of our sketch made his home with him, until he was seventeen years of age.

He then went to Waukesha, Wis., to learn the blacksmith trade, and served three years at this trade, and then went to Northern Michigan, where he engaged in shoeing until 1856. He then started for Minnesota via the lakes to Ozeeki, Wis., and from there with ox teams to Mower county, where he joined his father-in-law, E. Whitcomb. He claimed the southwest quarter of section 30, in the town now known as LeRoy. He remained here two years and made some improvements on the land.

He then bought the southwest quarter of section 31, where he built a log house and engaged in farming until 1864, when he went to LeRoy village, now known as old town, and engaged in blacksmithing with E. F. McKee. When the new town of LeRoy started, he went there and bought village property and erected a dwelling house, and in company with John Curry built the first blacksmith shop in the village. October 28, 1849, he married Miss Ellizabeth Whitcomb. They have had six children; two died in infancy. Anson C., Vica A., Julia I., Willard K., Frank W. and Lizzie M.---Ida and Frank dying in infancy. Mr. Porter was the first constable in the village, and has been repeatedly elected to offices of trust in the town.

History of Mower County, Page 427 & 428.



Edwin Price

b: 1848

Edwin Price, retired farmer, of LeRoy, was born in Shropshire, England, October 6, 1848, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Price, natives of the same shire; Thomas Price dying in 1888, and Elizabeth Price in 1886.

Edwin received his early education in England, and in 1871 came to America, locating first for a few months at Portage, Wisconsin. Then he made his home at Fountain, Fillmore county, for a period of eight years, farming, threshing and working in the pine woods. Subsequently he purchased 160 acres in Jamestown township, Howard county, and to this later added an adjoining tract of 160 acres in Oakdale, making a fine farm of 320 acres, all in Iowa. On this tract he carried on general farming until November, 1901, when he retired, rented his farm and moved to LeRoy, where he purchased the home where he now resides.

When conducting agricultural operations, Mr. Price made a specialty of full-blooded Poland-China hogs and Durham cattle. While in Iowa he was a member of the school board of his township, and served two years as superintendent of roads. He has also been street commissioner in LeRoy three years. He is a stockholder in the Farmers' Creamery at Bailey, Iowa, and aside from his farm in Iowa, he owns his own residence, another residence, and twenty-three building lots in the village of LeRoy.

Mr. Price was married on Easter Monday, in April, 1878, at Chatfield, Fillmore county, to Sarah Linn, who died August 30, 1893, leaving six children: John, who is a railroad express clerk, lives in the state of Washington; Robert, who has passed through the chairs of the LeRoy I. O. O. F. Lodge, lives in LeRoy and is a clerk for Porter & Young; Mary L., who has held all the offices in the local Rebekah Lodge and is now recording secretary, keeps house for her father; Anna E. is a teacher at Jackson, Minnesota; Veronica H. and Joseph E. clerk in a drug store at LeRoy. They are both graduates of the LeRoy high school.




Lowry W. Prosser

b: 1850

Lowry W. Prosser, agriculturist, horticulturist and stock breeder, of LeRoy township, was born in Marion county, Illinois, March 7, 1850, son of Henry and Nancy (Jones) Prosser, natives respectively of Schoharie county, New York, and the state of Kentucky. The parents, after living in Indiana and Illinois, came to Minnesota in 1856 and took up their residence in Spring Valley, Fillmore county. The father died in November, 1903, and the mother about 1885.

Lowry received his early education in the Spring Valley graded schools and in the Chatfield High School, afterward taking a two years' course in the University of Minnesota. Subsequently he farmed summers and taught school winters in his home county for five years and then in 1878 came to LeRoy township, where he taught and farmed ten years.

He purchased a farm of 160 acres and gradually increased his holdings until he owns 410 acres in sections 15 and 23. Originally this tract was scrub land, and Mr. Prosser cleaned up the hazel bushes and broke the land, bringing it to a high stage of cultivation. He also erected buildings and planted on the northwest of these a fine grove of evergreen trees, firs, balsams, pines and spruces, which act a windbreak and also beautify the farm.

Mr. Prosser is a Republican in politics, has served on the school board for many terms and on the board of supervisors for five years. It is as a farmer, however, that he has made his greatest progress. Some years ago he became interested in horticulture and started planting apple trees as an experiment.

He now has 1,000 trees and is developing a seedling apple, which he has named the "Prosser." This apple is the highest development in the line of Minnesota apple growing, and Mr. Prosser has won many prizes, including $40 in prizes from the Minnesota Horticultural exhibit, and several awards from the Southern Minnesota Horticultural Society. In the agricultural line he makes a specialty of "White Dent" seed corn, and in 1910 was awarded first prize at the exhibit of the Albert Lea Seed Corn Breeders' Association. He also breeds pure blooded Shorthorn cattle, registered Shropshire sheep and Duroc Jersey hogs.

The subject of this sketch was married December 24, 1874, to Marcia A. Spencer, daughter of W. B. and Elizabeth (McGee) Spencer, born April 16, 1849, and this union has been blessed with two children, William Glenn and Ruby E., the latter of whom was born June 30, 1882, and died three years later.

Mrs. Marcia A. Spencer Prosser was born in Pennsylvania, April 16, 1849, daughter of W. B. and Elizabeth (McGee) Spencer, who came to LeRoy in 1856. Mrs. Prosser attended the first school established in the southeast part of the county. Mrs. Prosser graduated from the normal school at Winona in 1867, and taught school for many years in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, teaching several terms after her marriage.

Lowry W. Prosser was elected secretary of the Southern Minnesota Horticultural Society in 1909, 1910 and 1911, respectively.




William Glenn Prosser

b: 1880

William Glenn Prosser was born November 13, 1880, son of Lowry W. and Marcia A. (Spencer) Prosser.

He received his education in the graded schools and in the LeRoy High School, afterward taking a two years' course in plant and stock breeding in the Agricultural School of the University of Minnesota.

After returning home from college he took up agricultural pursuits with his father.




S. L. Quackenbush

b: 1842

S. L. Quackenbush, an honored veteran of the Civil war, now residing in Frankford township, was born in Onondaga county, New York, May 12, 1842, son of Lambert and Emlie (Kathan) Quackenbush.

The subject of this sketch was four years old when his parents brought him to Wisconsin, where he spent his boyhood and young manhood. At the age of twenty-two, in 1864, he enlisted in the Union army and served six months as a teamster. Before his term of service had expired, he was taken ill, and came home, afterward receiving his honorable discharge.

Three years later, in 1868, he came to Frankford township, and settled in section 12, where he still continues to reside. He has never sought office, but for eight years yielded to the solicitation of his friends and honorably filled the office of constable. During his residence here he has become a substantial citizen, and his opinions are greatly respected by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Quackenbush married for his first wife Angeline M., daughter of 0. H. Collar, and this union resulted in two sons, Elmer O. and William M.

For his second wife he married Maria Sutton, daughter of Lemuel and Deborah (Laftin) Sutton.




Ole Alfson Quale

b: 1842

Ole Alfson Quale, an honored and respected resident of Clayton township, was born in Norway in 1842, and came to America in 1864, landing in Quebec. Then he settled in Winneshiek county, Iowa, and remained fourteen years, working as a farm hand.

By hard work and frugality he accumulated sufficient funds to purchase some land of his own, and he accordingly came to Mower county and purchased eight acres in section 20. This he afterward increased by another eighty acres. In the early days he devoted much of his attention to raising grain and flax, but in later years turned his energies to diversified farming and cattle breeding, making a specialty of Shorthorn cattle.

For the past five years he has rented his farm. He is a Republican in politics, was road overseer eight years and director of school district 83 three years. He is a communicant of the Synods church.

Mr. Quale was married March 25, 1873, to Karne Anderson, a native of Norway, and they have six children: Adolph; Olas, a carpenter in Austin; Clara, now Mrs. Robert Anderson, of Marshall; Jennie, now Mrs. Ed. Wint, of Austin; Nels, a carpenter living at home, and Sophia, who is dead.




John S. Lacy

John S. Lacy was an early hotel keeper in Austin, having erected the second hotel in the place. Mr. Lacy was a native of Ohio and upon coming to Austin erected a two-story frame building opposite the present court house square, on the site now occupied by the McCullough printing establishment.

Mr. Lacy sold his house to Asa Brown, who in the fall of 1865 sold it to one Cole, who in the spring of 1866 sold it to Jacob and A. M. Fleck, who raised the main part of the building, put in a basement, added a story and fitted up in all thirty rooms.

The Fleck house was then built on the same site. After passing through several hands, it ceased to be a hotel and is now used for commercial purposes, as above stated. Mr. Lacy died in Montrose, S. D., September 13, 1902.




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